So you may have heard that I signed myself up to be a guinea pig for our own Master of Pain, Al Painter. And unlike those times I signed up for experiments in college, I don’t get any cash or even cookies for this experience; what the hell was I thinking.
Now, I got the goods from Al, as well as the go ahead to start the program last Thursday. Unfortunately, the day before that I got a respiratory ailment that trumped Al’s go-ahead and kept me in bed, hacking, wheezing, and chugging cough syrup, hoping for a few minutes of relief here and there. As one might guess, the weekend was also scrubbed as my lungs were still rattling like a pair of maracas, and I really didn’t want to wind up out of commission for another week.
Eventually, Monday rolled around, and my lungs successfully made it through my bike commute, earning a solid C+ on their first test in nearly a week. This, of course, means that I’m clearly good to go on the test program. Still not wanting to risk my throat and lungs on a set of hill repeats (the first riding component of the plan), I decided to go with the off the bike workout. This workout consisted of me twisting and bending and thrusting and bridging and lunging in all sorts of odd manners. My Yorkie, Jasper (seen at right) who usually accompanies me in the “gym” for my workouts had no idea what to make of my now routine, although he thought the mobile ab walk-outs Al calls “inchworms” were an invitation to play and repeatedly attacked my hands and face as I scuttled across the floors. As for the rest of the workout, some activities were hard, some were fairly easy (I assume that these were more about mobility than strength, some were downright odd (the inverse squats), and some were straight from the devil. These innocent looking leg lift/circle maneuvers had me maxing out at about 47-48 cusswords per minute; I could really feel the residue of those babies today. While not an overly difficult workout it had it’s moments that I will not be looking forward to in the future.
In related news, the workout also taught me that my right knee area is nowhere as strong or as stable as my left, lateral lunges in that direction were sketchy, at best.
After the indoor activities, today’s workout consisted of a warm-up including some single-leg pedaling, and some high to extremely-high cadence pedaling, followed by a series of 3-5 hill repeats on a 4-6% grade, three minutes in length, with a three minute break between climbs. Now, this being Dallas, we don’t really have a lot of three minute hills to work with, so I had to climb a two minute hill, turn around, go halfway down, and climb back up to the top. Since I got that short break in the middle I was a bit less gassed than I could have been and cut the rest interval between climbs down to just two minutes. Five repeats later, my lungs (still working at about 80% normal capacity) were more than happy to call it a day and ride my sore buttocks home.
Tomorrow just calls for another whacky, twisty, lungey, bendy, hip murdery strength day, so I probably won’t check in with my next report until Thursday, when ride day two rolls around. Who knows, I may be in need of a calzone or two by then.